The Ultimate Beef Enchilada Recipe that You Must Try

Are you looking for a delicious and satisfying dish to spice up your dinner? Look no further than this mouthwatering Beef Enchilada Recipe. This recipe, packed with flavorful ingredients and rich in Mexican spices, will surely become a family favorite. From tender beef to gooey cheese, every bite of these savory enchiladas will leave you wanting more. Get ready to delight your taste buds with this easy-to-follow Beef Enchilada that will bring flavor to your table.

Choosing the Right Tortillas for Your Enchiladas

Many people make the mistake of using the wrong type of tortilla, which can lead to disappointing results. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect tortillas for your enchiladas:

  1. Corn or Flour Tortillas: Corn or flour are two basic types. While some recipes use flour tortillas, corn tortillas are traditional, and for a good reason. Corn tortillas have a distinct flavor that adds to the overall enchilada experience. They have a slightly sweet and earthy taste that complements the beef filling perfectly.
  2. Soft and Pliable: When choosing corn tortillas, ensure they are soft and pliable. Stale or overly dry tortillas can easily break when rolled, leading to enchiladas that fall apart. Look for tortillas that are fresh and have a bit of elasticity to them.
  3. Preheating Tortillas: Before filling and rolling your enchiladas, it’s essential to preheat your tortillas. This step helps to prevent them from cracking and breaking during the rolling process. Heat them in a dry skillet or griddle for a few seconds on each side until they become soft and pliable.
  4. Size Matters: The size of your tortillas also matters. It’s best to use medium-sized tortillas that are around 6 inches in diameter for beef enchiladas. This size allows for the perfect amount of filling without overwhelming the dish.
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Tips for Perfectly Flavored Enchiladas

tips for perfectly flavored enchiladas

  1. Season the Beef Filling: To ensure that your beef enchiladas are bursting with flavor, it’s essential to season the beef filling properly. Don’t be afraid to adjust the spices to your taste preferences.
  2. Roast the Vegetables: Roasting brings natural sweetness and adds a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the beef. Try roasting onions, bell peppers, and even tomatoes for an extra layer of deliciousness.
  3. Homemade Enchilada Sauce: Making homemade sauce can take your enchiladas to a new level. You can create a rich, flavorful, perfectly balanced sauce using fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices.
  4. Cheese Selection: Traditional Mexican cheeses like queso fresco or queso blanco can add a creamy and tangy element to your dish. Combine cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese if you prefer a melty and gooey texture.
  5. Garnishes and Toppings: Fresh cilantro, chopped onions, sliced avocado, and a squeeze of lime can add brightness and freshness to each bite. You can also sprinkle some crumbled queso fresco or drizzle some sour cream over the top for added creaminess.

Pairing Suggestions: Drinks and Sides for Beef Enchiladas

Let me share some of my favorite pairing suggestions to enhance the flavors and make your dining experience more enjoyable.

For drinks, a few options pair exceptionally well with beef enchiladas. If you prefer a refreshing and light option, a cold Mexican beer like a Corona or Modelo can complement the savory flavors of the enchiladas. For those who enjoy a little kick, a spicy margarita made with fresh lime juice and a touch of jalapeno adds a fun twist to the meal. And if you prefer non-alcoholic options, a traditional Mexican agua fresca, such as horchata or tamarind, can provide a refreshing and sweet contrast to the savory enchiladas.

Let’s discuss the perfect sides to serve with your beef enchiladas. A classic side that pairs beautifully is Mexican rice. The fluffy, flavorful rice with hints of tomato and spices balances out the richness of the enchiladas. Another great option is a vibrant and crisp Mexican slaw. This crunchy salad with lime juice and chili powder adds a refreshing element and texture to each bite. And, of course, no Mexican meal is complete without chips and guacamole. The creamy, homemade guacamole adds a creamy, tangy touch that complements the beef and spices in the enchiladas.

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Variations to Try: Ground Chicken or Turkey Enchiladas

To make ground chicken or turkey enchiladas, you can follow the same recipe for beef enchiladas but substitute the meat with ground chicken or turkey. The process remains the same – sauté the ground meat with onions, garlic, and your choice of spices, then roll it up in tortillas with cheese and bake it in enchilada sauce.

One tip to remember is that ground chicken and turkey tend to be leaner than beef, so you might need to add more seasoning or spices to enhance the flavors. Using a combination of bold spices such as chili powder, cumin, and paprika can add a rich and smoky taste that complements the milder flavor of chicken or turkey.

Another variation to consider is to add some veggies to the filling. You can sauté bell peppers, corn, or zucchini along with the ground chicken or turkey to add some extra nutrients and a pop of color. This makes the enchiladas more nutritious and adds a refreshing crunch to each bite.

Lastly, to cut down on calories, you can opt for whole wheat tortillas or lettuce leaves as a wrap. This will give your enchiladas a lighter and fresher touch without compromising flavor.

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Making Ahead and Freezing Instructions for Beef Enchiladas

making ahead and freezing instructions for beef enchiladas

To make beef enchiladas ahead of time, you can prepare the filling, assemble the enchiladas, and refrigerate them overnight. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a tastier dish. Cover the enchiladas tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator until you bake them.

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If you want to freeze the beef enchiladas, you can do so before or after baking them. To freeze before baking, assemble the enchiladas as usual, but skip adding the enchilada sauce. Instead, wrap the dish tightly with plastic and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Label the dish with the date and cooking instructions before placing it in the freezer.

When ready to enjoy your frozen enchiladas, let them thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight. Once melted, add the enchilada sauce and bake according to the original recipe instructions.

If you prefer to freeze the enchiladas after baking, ensure they have cooled completely before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Label the dish and place it in the freezer.

When reheating the frozen enchiladas, you can either thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or bake them straight from the freezer, but adjust the baking time accordingly.

Beef Enchilada Recipe

making ahead and freezing instructions for beef enchiladas
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • Tortillas
  • Oil for frying
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef broth
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cheese (for stuffing and topping)
  • Optional: diced onion for added flavor


    1. Start by lightly frying the tortillas. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the tortillas. Let the oil heat up, and then fry each tortilla for about 5 seconds or until they begin to blister. Remove and repeat the process with the remaining tortillas. Set them aside.
    2. Now, let's make the beef chili gravy. Mix tomato paste, beef broth, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until everything is well dissolved.
    3. Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then, add minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
    4. Add the ground beef to the pan, breaking it down as it cooks. Season with cumin, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
    5. Move the meat to the side of the pan, allowing the fat to gather in the center. Add flour to the fat and mix it together to dissolve.
    6. Add the beef broth mixture to the pan and continue mixing. Bring it to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the broth thickens up and becomes a beef chili gravy.
    7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread some of the sauce into a baking dish.
    8. Take a tortilla and stuff it with cheese and optional diced onion. Roll it up and place it in the baking dish. Repeat the process with the remaining tortillas.
    9. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and sprinkle more cheese on top.
    10. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
    11. Once ready, you can serve the enchiladas with rice and beans on the side.

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